To the woke, even treating someone’s disorder can be taboo, if it hurts the feelings of other people who have the disorder and don’t want to be treated.
Autism is a disorder. Indeed, “autism” is short for “autism spectrum disorder.” Autistic people face a lifetime of challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and/or nonverbal communication. Having a severely autistic child can turn parents’ lives upside down.
But a panel at a hospital affiliated with Harvard was canceled after students objected to its discussion of “ways to treat autism,” which students said was “hateful” and “eugenist” because it suggested that autism was “negative.” Reason Magazine reports:
The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a teaching hospital affiliated with Harvard University. It was slated to host a panel on autism titled “Autism Awareness: Thinking Outside the Box”; that event has now been postponed due to an outcry from students.
While such subjects as “alternative ways to treat autism” and “communicating with people on the autism spectrum” probably sound benign to most people, a Change.org petition created by Harvard students accuses the panelists of promoting “violently ableist” views.
“Autism is a neurodevelopmental and neurobiological disability that is not treatable or curable,” wrote the petition’s authors. “It is not an illness or disease and most importantly, it is not inherently negative. Autistic people at Harvard and globally have advocated in the face of ableism to defend ourselves from such hateful, eugenicist logic.
“By supporting such an event, Harvard is signaling that its campus is unsafe for Autistic people, and that is unacceptable. We call on organizers and attendees of this event to learn from Autistic self-advocates during this time.”…..The petition, which was signed by more than 1,500 people, describes this thinking as “eugenicist.”
The criticism worked; the center announced yesterday that the panel would be postponed and retooled.
“We are grateful to those who brought important aspects of the event to light and always intend for our actions to be respectful and inclusive,” said the center in a statement. “We are pausing, deeply reflecting and learning before we consciously take next steps.”